Hope

Tremble

Tremble

A few years ago, my wife and i found ourselves in the midst of a gathering of twenty-four worship leaders that God is using, not only to lead their local fellowships in worship, but also the greater body of Christ through the worship songs they are composing. On one particular night, we were all led in the darkness through a wooded area to a room that was away from the main campus where we were meeting. The intent was that we would experience a taste of the daily lives of our persecuted brothers and sisters in many parts of the world who need to gather in secret to worship. The evening was facilitated by good friends – Nik and Ruth Ripken.

As the evening went on, Nik shared the testimonies of men and women that God has permitted him to meet – testimonies of God’s mercy and grace in the midst of persecution. Nik explained that each one of these men and women had a heartsong – a song that God had stamped in their hearts. It was a song of God’s faithfulness, His goodness and His grace….

Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected

It was Wednesday, January 19, 1977 and it was snowing. Now that doesn’t seem very unexpected unless you are in West Palm Beach or Miami, Florida or Nassau, in the Bahamas! It had never snowed in that part of the world before then, as best anyone knows, and it hasn’t snowed there since. My wife and i remember the day well. Traffic virtually came to a standstill, and people stopped wherever they were in order to turn their heads toward the sky. What was this foreign substance falling to earth? I remember trying to catch a few snowflakes on my tongue. Bear in mind, i don’t think any snowflakes actually made it to the ground! The snowbirds who had come to Florida to escape the snow indeed felt cheated, but the natives were simply amazed. 

A story is told that early in 1976 while the political campaigns for the U.S. presidency were underway, Jimmy Carter was considered by many to be a long shot for the Democratic nomination. As the story goes, a radio talk show pundit, Neal Boortz, was conducting an on-air interview and asked his guest about Mr. Carter’s chances of being elected. The guest replied that it was highly unlikely, and to add emphasis said, “It will snow in Nassau before Jimmy Carter is sworn in as President of the United States!” By the way, President Carter was sworn in as our 39thPresident on Thursday, January 20, 1977. Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?!?

But, as i think of that day, i am reminded that our God is the Master of the unexpected – not only with snowflakes in South Florida – but in much greater and much more significant ways….